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Gevo and Praj commit to commercializing sustainable aviation fuel in India

US-headed advanced renewable fuel and biochemical platform technology developer Gevo Inc., and India-headed ethanol plant engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) provider Praj Industries Ltd (Praj) have announced that they have signed a binding, definitive Master Framework Agreement (MFA) to collaborate on providing renewable, low carbon, low particulate, Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) and renewable premium gasoline in India and neighboring countries.

Gevo Inc., and Praj Industries Ltd (Praj) have announced that they have signed a binding, definitive Master Framework Agreement (MFA) to collaborate on providing renewable, low carbon, low particulate, Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) and renewable premium gasoline in India and neighboring countries (photo courtesy Praj Industries).

The announcement follows an earlier announcement in April 2019 between both parties regarding the commercialization of renewable isobutanol, sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), and renewable premium gasoline.

Gevo will license its technology and Praj will provide technology, plant equipment, and EPC services to sugar mills and ethanol plants to produce renewable isobutanol from the so-called 1st generation feedstock such as sugarcane juice, cane molasses, sugar syrup, and 2nd generation cellulosic biomass feedstock like straws, and bagasse.

Pursuant to the terms of the MFA, Gevo is providing a license to Praj, which will allow the latter to carry out basic engineering and design package services, supply equipment, build plants and use jointly developed process design package to produce renewable isobutanol for plant operators who are licensed by Gevo.

The renewable isobutanol will be aggregated and transferred to various refineries. Gevo will also license its technology and Praj will provide technology, plant equipment, and EPC services to refineries for converting renewable isobutanol into SAF and premium gasoline through the ASTM-approved Alcohol-to-Jet (ATJ) pathway.

In addition, Gevo is also providing a license to Praj, which will allow the latter to carry out basic engineering and design package services, supply equipment, and build plants to convert renewable isobutanol into renewable gasoline and SAF for plant operators who are licensed by Gevo.

Civil and military applications

SAF should find applications in commercial aviation as well as in the defense sector in India. Praj and Gevo supplied the sample of SAF produced by Gevo to the Indian Air Force (IAF). The Indian Air Force tested the sample and found it to be meeting the desired specifications as per relevant ASTM standards. Further tests are underway at IAF.

Jet fuel and gasoline made with our technology are made from renewable resources, reduce greenhouse gasses, and eliminates particulates. We are pleased to be working with Praj, moving down the commercialization path and that the Indian Air Force has the vision to see that the domestic supply of jet fuel makes sense. We also recognize that products like ours have the potential to reduce air pollution, said Dr Patrick Gruber, CEO of Gevo.

According to Apte Research Group, University of California, Berkley, particle air pollution in South Asia ranks among the most severe in the world. In India alone, hundreds of millions of people are exposed to PM2.5 concentrations, an order of magnitude greater than World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.

The use of SAF, blended with aviation turbine fuel, can contribute significantly to mitigating the risk associated with particulate air pollution.

We are happy to partner with Gevo, a leading renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels company to expand the commercial-scale use of SAF in India. Praj’s “enfinity” technology under “Bio-Mobility” platform, combined with Gevo’s ATJ, will create a winning solution to address the growing need for sustainable decarbonization. This will also help India in achieving energy security, reducing import bill and meeting climate change goals, said Dr Pramod Chaudhari, Executive Chairman, Praj Industries,

Praj to supply critical biorefinery equipment to HPCL

In a separate statement, Praj disclosed that it has already received a contract for the supply of “critical equipment” for the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) Bhatinda 2G biorefinery project in the State of Punjab.

Announced as India’s first 2nd generation biofuels plant in December 2016, the 32 million litre per annum facility will use agriculture residues such as straw for cellulosic ethanol for the country’s Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) programme.

The project is one of several biorefinery projects announced by India’s oil marketing companies (OMCs) in December 2016.

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